Picking Up the Pieces

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Hayden Simpson is a pitcher for YOUR Boise Hawks who also enjoys hunting, fishing, listening to music 24/7 and always has a Mountain Dew close by. He is from Arkansas where he lives with his mom, Tena, dad, Keith, and his younger brother Landon. Hayden also has a fiancé, Rianne, so ladies, keep your distance!

Hayden’s story is quite interesting. It is not your typical “my dad played ball so I did too” kind of story. Hayden’s story begins with football, the love of his life at one point.

His father bought him a few old films of football games and Hayden would sit and watch for hours, over and over, studying the game. He was an All-State quarterback in high school and always dreamed of playing football in college until he stopped growing. “I always played both, football just kind of ran its course for me, I didn’t see a future in it.”

Throwing football made Hayden’s arm a natural pitching talent. Originally a shortstop, he started to concentrate on pitching in his sophomore year of college. “I worked out a lot, Wes Johnson, who is now at Dallas Baptist, knew which workouts really worked for me.” Hayden never looked back after discovering what his arm could do.

Hayden was signed in the 1st round, 16th overall, of the 2010 draft by the Chicago Cubs and has been picking up the pieces ever since. “The day after the best day of my life, I woke up with a sore throat.” It turned into mono and he was out for about five months, June 17th – Thanksgiving of 2010. “It got soo bad I would sleep in the bathtub just to control my body temperature.” The worst part for Hayden was going from being the All-State athlete in high school to having a complete loss of confidence and trying to stay motivated at the same time. “How can you take the ONE thing someone knows away from them? Eventually I stopped worrying about it and realized that it was going to be what it was going to be.”

For Hayden, his journey has been about consistency, and confidence. “Trusting what I have and not second guessing myself and what I am doing.” Coach David Rosario has been a big part of this journey this year. It has been just as much emotional as it has been physical for Hayden. “I’m more than confident with where I am now that I will get back to where I was and be better than I was because of what I have been through.”

In school Hayden studied Exercise Science. While he hopes to be in the majors one day, his backup plan is to coach football.  Hayden would of course be a “quarterback coach.”

Good luck Hayden!

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